Battiloro Handpan - An Italy-Made Handpan Labor-of-Love

Seemingly meaning “beater” (as a translation from Italian), Battiloro Handpan were formed in 2016, following a love-affair with the Handpan that began much earlier, in 2007. These Italian Handpan-makers pride themselves on being small-scale artisan producers. With each instrument being a labor-of-love, giving each instrument the time needed to be sculpted, forged, tuned, polished and turned into a unique piece.

And having discovered them over at ETSY, it has to be said, that these guys are doing good work. With rather sexy, dark and brooding aesthetics, and unique astrological special-editions, like their “Deneb” model - named after the brilliant white star of the Swan Constellation, in 432Hz tuning (pictured above-right). That is said to “enchant with a crystalline, almost silvery major accordion. Aerial and soulfully serene, its voice emanates a shimmering joy thanks to it rare Chinese scale, resembling the gentle flickering of the evening stars.” - which you can listen to below...



"Stupendo!" one customer describes their received Battiloro Handpan over at ETSY (which we understand to mean "Wonderful!"). And in addition to being available for sale online, the Battiloro makers also welcome those residing within, or able to visit Rome, the chance to go try them out in person, as another option for those who prefer to play-before-they-pay. 

While additionally offering Handpan tuition courses via the Battiloro academy, held at their headquarters... 



Though alternatively, you'll find plenty of videos over at their YouTube channel to aid you in deciding if these are the Handpan for you, should you be unable to make the journey. 



For more information, and/or to make a purchase, you can find Battiloro over at ETSY HERE, at Facebook HERE, or over at their website HERE.


And as a side-note, in addition to Handpan, they also produce and offer for sale an interesting range of Handpan-esque steel-tongue-drum (which you can hear below)... 



Rithvik Dhanjani Joins the Celebrity Handpan-Musicians Hall-of-Fame

From noted spiritual-leader’s like Sadhguru, through to actresses such as Golshifteh Farahani, the Handpan, and the Hang in particular, have attracted the attention of a number of “high-profile” fans of the instrument-type. With the latest addition to the celebrity HandPan-musicians hall-of-fame being Indian dancer and television star, Rithvik Dhanjani. Who after falling in love with our favorite musical metal-turtle, began a pilgrimage to obtain a Handpan of his own...

In an article in TimesofIndia.com Rithvik Dhanjani spoke of how he discovered the Handpan while vacationing in Berlin. Deciding there and then that he needed to add one to his instrument collection.

“I attended a street music festival in Berlin, where I befriended a man who was playing the hang drum and it was magical. That’s when I decided I would own the instrument someday... “

And while two years passed since first discovering the Hang in Berlin, another recent article explains how Rithvik Dhanjani never forgot that sound - and of how he recently, finally, acquired his own Handpan - which can be seen / heard in the following video...



With Rithvik Dhanjani further stating that he believes it's important to have a hobby for your wellbeing, 'I'd read this, you must pick 3 hobbies, one to make you money, one to keep you in shape & one to keep you creative. I guess I already found 3. I always make a point to do something I've never done before to keep me going.'


For more information on Rithvik Dhanjani, you can find him over at Facebook: HERE.

A Growing Secondary Market for Original PANArt Hang Accessories


As we draw towards the end of 2018, a new market for increasingly rare and hard-to-find original PANArt Hang accessories seems to be opening up. As can be seen with two separate auctions for PANArt-made “Dum” appearing for sale over at eBay in parallel. The first we’ve seen offered for sale in the secondary-markets to date…

Made from turned pearwood, Dum, were an accessory PANArt offered around 2004-2007, and reportedly, only around 200 were ever made.

A wooden tube-like accessory intended primarily for use with PANArt’s Gudu-Hang model, the Dum is used to alter the sound of the Hang, lowering the Helmholtz resonance of the Hang, by narrowing and extending the neck of the Gu.

And while originally priced at around 25 Euro as an accessory back in the day when purchased directly from PANArt, sellers over at eBay are currently asking between $350, and $3000. Whether they sell or not however, remains to be seen, at time of writing. But it does suggest that the market for original PANArt accessories such as Dum, and original bags and cases, could become more lively in the future, as Hang-fans seek out authentic accessories for their instruments, and especially those that remain in great condition, despite the passing years…



Which seems to be confirmed by a message (above) we recently received on this site via our other post on the PANArt Dum


Back-to-Basics Handpan-Making - With Colin Foulke

The “Handpan-Building” section of this website where we’ve listed some of our favourite resources that we’ve stumbled across over the years remains one of the most visited sections of this website. Proving that building one’s own Handpan is still something that many aspire to achieve.

And while many makers these days seemingly utilize ever more technologically advanced tools and machines to industrialize the Handpan-building process. A recent video from noted maker, Colin Foulke, shows him putting most of the gizmos aside - in favour of little more than a tuning ring, and just three hammers...

“Inspired to get back to the roots of this art form I set aside all my tools and machines, selected 3 hammers, and set out to make a handpan 100% by hand.” 



An amazing resource for both new and seasoned makers, the video provides a walk-through of how to build a Handpan with only the most basic of equipment. And as is usually the case with Colin Foulke’s creations, the end results are beautiful. In fact, it’s the very Handpan you can hear playing throughout the video.

And should you be visiting this page prior to Christmas day, 2018 - we'd definitely recommend watching the above video all the way to the end...

Learn more about the work of Colin Foulke over at his website: HERE.  

Woodpan - Half-and-Half Handpan made by Sew

While the Handpan is a thing of beauty in its traditional form, as imagined by the original Hang-makers, PANArt.  It’s human to find fascination in variations, and anomalies.  Something Handpan makers around the world have provided us with in plenty over the years, as they continue to experiment with the singing-steel UFO form. 

Not quite as “woody” as the Hamgam, but still pretty woody, are these somewhat unusual Handpan from Sew.  A new range of Italian-made instruments known as “Woodpan”,  that feature an upper-dome made of steel, and a bottom-shell made of 50-year aged wood.  Coated in a special wax made of Mexican insects, a process reportedly used in the creation of musical instruments by artisans in the Middle Ages…

And as an added bonus, the demonstration video is a short performance from one of our favorite Handpan performers, Sam Maher, which you can take a listen to below... 



"Woodpan was born with this particular purpose: reach a new frequency... Nature’s frequency, our heart’s frequency." From the Sew website. 

And upon listening, they do have a unique quality and timbre to their sound that is interesting to the ear.  And you can watch a short video of the Mexican-beetle glaze being applied to the lower-shell below.



For more information you can visit the Woodpan section of the Sew Handpans website: HERE

Chunky Pure Wool Handpan Polishing Covers for Sale

One of the reasons we promote ETSY here at HPM (in addition to it providing a small revenue stream) is that not only is it one of the fairer market-places in which instrument makers can offer their creations for sale - being handmade-goods centric, it also provides those of a “crafty” nature a platform through which to offer some interesting, unique, and often-beautiful Handpan accessories, such as you might not find elsewhere.  Like the exceptionally-funky pure-wool Handpan polishing covers you can see pictured right. 

Offered for sale by FlowismYoga, these rainbow-hued warm-winter coats for Handpan, are made from super bulky pure hand dyed Merino wool from South America - a type of material that comes from the Merino Sheep and is renowned for its exceptional properties. Among these properties are its fantastic softness, shine and breathability. The fibres of Merino wool are softer, finer and more sensitive than many other fabrics. 

And in addition to instantly transforming your Handpan into the belle-of-the-ball, and the fashion-envy of all others, they also offer a certain degree of protection - particularly from such nasties as dust, and pesky fingerprints - with this chunky-knit sleeve forming a naturally polishing envelope, within which to home your singing-steel UFO. 

For more information and/or to make a purchase, you can find them over at ETSY: HERE.

Indian Spiritual Leader, Sadhguru, Plays Handpan

Not to be outdone by fellow spiritual-leader the Dalai Lama, whose tentative Handpan performance(s) we documented back in 2016, Jaggi Vasudev, more commonly known as “Sadhguru”, the Indian yogi and mystic, with a large following. Also appears to be a big fan of the Handpan instrument - as can be seen in the following video, within which Sadhguru goes beyond the Dalai Lama’s gentle prodding of the instrument, to offer up a short, but fairly solid performance of his own (featured below).

"If you cannot notice your breath, how will you notice anything subtler than that?"

Founder of the Isha Foundation, a non-profit organization which offers Yoga programs around the world and is involved in social outreach, education and environmental initiatives. He was conferred the Padma Vibhushan award by the Government of India on 13 April 2017 in recognition of his contribution towards spirituality.  And as a measurable metric of popularity for these modern times, Sadhguru has well over two million followers over at Facebook. And an almost equal number of Twitter fans too.  And without further ado, here's Sadhguru, performing upon "Hang drum" (Handpan)...



To learn more from Sadhguru, you can find him over at Facebook: HERE

The PanBoeddha Workshop - An Amsterdam-Based Handpan School

While here at HPM, we’re in the habit of focusing more on online Handpan endeavours, particularly in regards to highlighting online learning resources, such as David Charrier’s “Master the Handpan” series of online courses. Occasionally we also like to take a look around, and see what Handpan folk are upto - beyond the constraints of the interwebs.

Handpan gatherings and festivals have long been popular, and beyond those as meeting points, locations such as the PANArt Hanghaus have (at least in days gone by) long served as pilgrimage-like destinations for fans of the instrument type. While other makers such as EchoSoundSculptures, also continue that trend by hosting regular concerts and meetups.

And should you be in, or able to travel to Amsterdam - another location we’ve been learning of more and more recently, is the "PanBoeddha Workshop". A non-digital route through which those looking to expand their skills, or perhaps even get their first touch of a Handpan, can explore the instrument, in the company of fellow Handpan enthusiasts, musicians, and students...



'If the mountain will not come to PanBoeddha Handpan school, Pan Boeddha traveling Handpan school will go to the mountain!’.

In addition to offering Handpan-themed workshops at their location in Amsterdam, the PanBoeddha Workshop also offers a travelling Handpan-school.  Visiting such locations as Ibiza, Germany, and beyond, to bring a little Handpan-goodness to those unable to travel themselves...



To find more information you can visit PanBoeddha Workshop over at Facebook: HERE.

Isthmus Instruments - Handpan from the Rabbit-Hole

Based in Madison, U.S.A., Isthmus Instruments, are the creations of one of the first female Handpan-makers, Jenny Robinson.  Like many Jenny first discovered these singing-steel UFOs via YouTube - and in an article over at Isthmus.com, Jenny Robinson explains how she “fell down the rabbit-hole", and "fell in love with the sound” upon first hearing them.  And it wasn’t long after, having decided that this was something that she needed within her life, calling upon her machinist-background, Jenny setup her own Handpan-building studio - and would dedicate the next four years (and counting) of her life, to the art of building and tuning Handpan.  And while by her own admission the journey between the points of enthusiastically diving in head-first, and the level she now finds herself at, led to the accumulation of a "grave yard of disaster pans" on-route (as every fledgling maker likely collects). Every mistake was clearly well learned from - as can be heard in the most recent offerings of Isthmus Instruments - one of which; you can take a listen to below...



In addition to building beautiful instruments, building a community around them is also something that is notably of importance to the Isthmus Instruments team - who in mid 2017 hosted the first Handpan gathering in the midwest (which you can check out below) - which they hope to hold annually moving forwards...



And we'll finish off this post by sharing one last recent video from the Isthmus Instuments team, featuring a pair of their more recent creations, including a stunning looking (and sounding) custom-made, golden-tree-adorned; C Aeolian...



To find Isthmus Handpan for sale you can visit their ETSY store: HERE. Or for the latest updates you can find them over at Facebook: HERE. Or over at their official website: HERE.

Do You Cringey-Face? - Making Weird Faces While Playing Music

In a recent video uploaded to YouTube (unfortunately now removed) featuring the unboxing of a brand new Handpan, the YouTuber explained that, “...I'm only gonna show my hands, don’t like cringey face...”. Highlighting a common problem likely suffered by many Handpan’ers (including us) - the urge to distort one's face into all manner of unusual and not normally exhibited facial-gymnastics, and expressions, while playing Handpan. Or as the aforementioned YouTuber put it more simply, “...that cringey face…”.

And it certainly isn’t a phenomenon associated only with the Handpan. Whether you play the piano, the violin, or perhaps most frequently commented upon, the guitar, cringe-face appears to be the curse of musicians across all musical-borders. Affecting some more than others. And while we wouldn't be cruel enough to compile our own compilation of cringey-faced Handpan’ers, you can get the general idea from the compilation below of guitarists showing off their best “guitar faces”.



Perhaps this is the real reason that so many Handpan musicians only show videos of their hands flying across the surface of their instruments.  Could the likes of Adrian J Portia be pulling mad-grimaces just out of camera view?

And while we stated above that we would never be cruel enough to highlight any specific examples of cringey-face within the Handpan community (psyke), hopefully Ravid Goldschmidt won't mind too much, if in exchange for a little extra free advertising (GO BUY AN OVAL!) we share the following video - which is not only one of our favourite Hang performances ever, but also goes some way to proving the correlation between the beauty of any particular piece, and the near-ecstatic facial expressions sometimes exhibited by the player(s) performing it...



How to Stop Cringey-Face

Should you be self-conscious as to your cringey-face when performing - borrowing from a suggestion on a similar post found over at Violinist.com. practising and performing in front of a mirror is said to help.  Allowing you not only to study and perhaps learn to control the offending facial expressions.  But it is also said to relieve some of the inner-tensions caused by over-concentration; that are thought to lead to the exhibiting of funny-faces in the first place.

Alternatively, you may well be better off embracing and learning to love your oft-wild facial-manifestations, agonised snarls, wide-eyed orgasmic joy, and all.  Taking comfort in the fact that as long as those listening to your performance aren't making cringey-faces of their own - then things could definitely be worse.

Subscribe to HandPans Magazine:

© HandPans Magazine